- Adtalem Global Education, an Illinois-based educational services company that recently sold off DeVry University, announced Monday that it will buy OnCourse Learning's financial services education business for $121 million in cash. The deal is expected to close by June.
- The acquisition bolsters Adtalem's professional education offerings, said its CEO and President Lisa Wardell in a press release, particularly in the banking, credit union and mortgage licensing sectors. Included in the deal are OnCourse brands BankersEdge and Total Training Solutions.
- Wisconsin-based OnCourse offers licensure preparation, compliance training and continuing and professional education. Its financial services outfit generated revenues of roughly $31 million in 2018 with EBITDA margins greater than 30%.
The acquisition comes as Adtalem situates itself more firmly in the professional education space, with a strong focus on the medical and health care segments.
In December, Adtalem completed the separate sales of its Carrington and DeVry universities. Carrington sold to San Joaquin Valley College, a for-profit institution in Southern California with 15 campuses. DeVry, meanwhile, went to for-profit services company Cogswell Education in a deal that includes the potential for Adtalem to receive earn-out payments of up to $20 million, according to SEC filings.
The DeVry sale has drawn criticism for suggestions that its buyer lacks experience with large institutions.
During the second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2018, revenue from Adtalem's medical and health care higher ed segment rose 4.6% year-over-year to $212.6 million. Chamberlain Colleges, which specializes in nursing and health care, saw modest revenue and enrollment gains for the period, driven by strong growth in its campus-based nursing bachelor's program.
Revenue from Adtalem's professional education segment also increased in the latest quarter, up 38.8% from a year ago to $42.1 million. The quarterly gains were driven by revenue from the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists' annual conference. The association's membership is up 88% since Adtalem acquired it in July 2016, at more than 70,000 members as of December. The company also saw growth in its Becker CPA Exam Review Course.
The company expects a slight revenue increase of between 3% to 4% for its fiscal 2019, which wraps up in June. Of the $65 million to $70 million in capital spending projected for the year, as much as $25 million is tied to the transfer of its Ross University School of Medicine to Barbados. Wardell said during a call with analysts to discuss the company's second-quarter earnings that Ross campus includes a "cutting edge" virtual anatomy lab that will give students "an early competitive advantage relative to their peers."
DeVry Education Group changed its name to Adtalem Global Education in 2017 as the college operator sought to recover from lawsuits alleging it misled students, including one from the Federal Trade Commission that it settled for $100 million. In SEC filings, the company said the change was meant to reflect its broader focus on professional education in the medical and health care fields, among other areas, as well as its international presence.
Adtalem joins other for profits that have been shifting their business models through strategic acquisitions and rebranding as they attempt to drop the sector's negative associations.
In the last month or so, Bridgepoint Education changed its name to Zovio and picked up a coding boot camp and a tutoring platform while it attempts to spin off its for-profit Ashford University as a nonprofit. The moves are part of its broader shift to an educational services provider that has included key leadership additions and plans for more acquisitions, including potentially bringing in an online program manager.